When children reach the age of 2 years, they are only able to grasp medium sized, light objects with their hands, and they always require the use of both hands, if you have noticed their hands are unstable, they tend to drop the object few times on the floor, while exploring it and as they grow, their ability to grasp, strength, sharpness and balance improve. This is where physical development comes into action also known as motor development.
The development of motor skills refers to the growth of strength, speed, accuracy of various muscles in the child’s body like the arms, legs, eyes and neck muscles. It involves body movements of various organs plus the coordination functions of nerves and muscles. When we talk about motor development, it is segregated into two aspects, i.e. Fine Motor Skills and Gross Motor Skills. I would be covering one aspect of development here, and the next would be followed in the coming week.
What is Fine Motor Skills?
This refers to the development of the smaller muscles in the child’s body, such as the eyes and fingers. This is also called as eye to hand co- ordination. This skill is required for activities like writing, painting, arts and crafts, etc. (Well, now you know why your child keeps drawing all over the place when given a sheet of paper! 😉 )
5 Activities That Can Progress A Child’s Fine Motor Skills
- Clay Play: Playing with clay is a good way to start as this activity involves using fingers for shaping, molding and feeling the clay.
- Drawing & Coloring: Simply getting your child to draw on a sheet of paper, (it doesn’t matter if they use either hands or grip it by the edges, as they grow their grip improves) so let them experience it. For coloring start with coloring in enclosed areas and introduce books with large objects to color and then slowly transcending to smaller objects as their skill improves.
- Eating using the hands and spoon: By introducing finger foods like carrot julienne, nuggets, etc. and the use of a spoon when eating certain food items like, soups and porridge helps in fine motor development
- Finger Rhymes with Action: Rhymes like, “One Two Buckle My Shoe,” Family Finger Song, there are so many rhymes to sing along and certainly follow the rhyme with actions so that your child can enact with you.
- Tearing, Cutting & Pasting: to begin with giving your child to do collage work, where they can tear paper using their fingers and then pasting the paper to the object given is also a good activity for developing smaller muscles, as it requires grip, strength and attention. While introducing scissors, make sure you are always around guiding your child to use it. For beginners I would suggest to start with tearing and pasting then later introduce scissors.
The above activities are some of the basic activities that can be introduced to children for enhancing their fine motor development. Although, I would always advice parents to be more creative in presenting activities to your kids.
I would love to hear what activities you do with your children to enhance their muscle development, drop your ideas in the comment box below.
Only children believe they are capable of everything.”– Paulo Coelho
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